Flexible Work Hours Inspires Performance
During the first ten or so years of my professional life I worked for a company which had “flexible” work hour options. Let me break down what this really meant from my experience of pushing these rules to the limit over the years.
- Getting reminded every morning when I walk in what time it is
- Getting phone calls or emails every time I’m rushing to make it in by 9:30
- Having to ask if I can leave at 5:00
- Not getting paid if I did not make up for the hour when leaving at 5:00
- Having to ask to work on weekends
- Working on weekends without asking, but not getting recognition in any way
- No work from home option, had to take full sick day
- Had to log billable and non-billable time in daily
So realistically those are not flexible work hours. Actually, they are pretty restrictive for such a small technology company. Fast forward to now, and my flexible work hour structure works like this.
- I can come in at any agreed upon time, considering I get the work done
- We never count anything on units of time
- I do not have to ask anyone to leave early, no matter the time
- I do not get docked any pay if I leave early on a specific day
- I can work all I want on weekends, but never required
- We can work from home any day we want
- No time tracking
I honestly think some technology companies got it all wrong. The whole point is not about rewarding employees based on time spent on a task. You are then punishing those who can get three times the job done within the same amount of time. Instead, focus on providing the most flexible and efficient way to allow employees to get the job done and done well. Statistically it’s proven that providing a more flexible environment actually drive a higher performance.
All of the time, energy, stress and overall employee morale lost on this process is such a waste. I think we calculated about twenty hours lost per year on the time management process.
1200 = 5 * 5 * 4 * 12
5 minutes a day, 5 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 12 months a year comes out to approximately 1200 minutes of lost time per year, or 20 hours.
Such a shame. Let’s instead spend our time delivering real products and being innovators.